June 30, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. - Former Golden Bear Jessica Hardy secured her first berth to London and alumna Natalie Coughlin likely clinched hers after the 100-meter freestyle final on Saturday night at the U.S. Olympics Trials at the CenturyLink Center. Hardy - a two-time NCAA champion in the 100-yard breaststroke while at Cal - won the 100 free and will swim that event along with the 400-meter freestyle relay at the Olympics. Coughlin - the 11-time Olympic medalist - has probably earned a 400-free relay spot on the U.S. team after her sixth-place finish.
A total of four Bears swam in the 100-free final, with Hardy clocking a time of 53.96, Coughlin swimming a time of 54.44, alum Dana Vollmer taking seventh with a time of 54.61 and alum Madison Kennedy finishing eighth in a time of 54.83.
Senior Caitlin Leverenz - who has already claimed Olympic berths in the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys - placed eighth in the 200-meter breaststroke final with a time of 2:28.54.
Incoming freshman Elizabeth Pelton - seeking her first spot on the U.S. Olympic team - qualified for tomorrow's final in the 200-meter backstroke by swimming the third-fastest time (2:08.71) in the semifinals. Pelton had posted the second-fastest time (2:08.89) in the preliminary heats for the 200 back.
On Sunday morning, the seventh day of the eight-day Olympic Trials, the meet continues with heats in the women's 50 free and men's 1500 free.